Friday Review: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Astrophysics for People in a HurryAstrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have never been very good with math. I can do basic stuff- make change, simple percentages, the kind of thing you actually use in life. But complicated, theoretical stuff? Way over my head. At the same time, I am, like many, fascinated with the search for how all of this vast and complex universe came to be, and where it may be going. Of course, that all involves a lot of math-y stuff.

Until now. Here is astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson with a book that most people can, if not understand fully, at least relate to in a more mainstream way. Yes, I know. He is a bit full of himself, and can come across as kind of know-it-all (and in a way, he does), but you know what? The book was pretty good. He takes a very conversational tone throughout, so you don’t really feel like you’re being lectured at, nor does it read like a textbook. There are jokes sprinkled in here and there. Science-y jokes, and some of them are, well, let’s just say Dr. Tyson should keep his day job, okay? At least he tries. There are no formulas, or math problems other than basic stuff like Einstein’s work. Nothing to solve or try to follow the solving. It’s all done in terms that a layman could understand.

He starts with the big bang, and outlines all the bazillions (not a science term) of things that happened in the first few nanoseconds after, and expands from there to fill the solar system, galaxy, and universe with all its pieces, from the huge to the unseeable. I won’t say that I now understand all of it, but I do have a better grasp on what is out there (dark energy?) than I did before. The scientists who are exploring and extrapolating and imagining all of this are providing us with new insights into who, what, and where we are constantly. Along with the amazement that goes with knowing there are people in astrophysics and theoretical physics that actually understand the math of it all, I also have a new sense of wonder at the enormity of our universe.

The book was a fairly easy read and should appeal to anyone interested in the work of Einstein and the scientists who have come after him and built on his work. With the bonus that you don’t have to be a PhD in Mathematics to get it.

View all my reviews


Two's Company small thumbnailMedusa “Deuce” Grainger is smart, confident, and as good a pilot as she is a poker player. A freelance shuttle jockey working for an independent terraforming company, she’s left her former life, and her father, behind. Mostly.

Now, her AI has downloaded another Personality off a wrecked ship, and he’s acting oddly ever since. Someone wants to sabotage her friend’s company out of business, evidence of tampering is being corrupted, and people have died.  With an investigation looming that could shut down the company and cut off her main source of income, it’s up to Deuce to figure out what’s going on, and how all the pieces fit the puzzle. Along the way, she reconnects with an old friend and discovers someone is stalking her. Deuce will need to connect all the dots fast, because more lives are at stake than anyone suspects.

Learn more here.

tn_Circle Unbroken Cover (eBook)

After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here




tn_Six of One

A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.




tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.





In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here


Five and Daemonthumb

Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?

Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here



Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.